Noise at work
The EU Physical Agents (Noise) Directive was a game changer when implemented in the UK in April 2006 with a revision of the Noise at Work Regulations which reduced the threshold values by 5dB – a step forward in protecting a greater proportion of exposed employees from noise induced hearing loss, but a massive burden to employers.
Other changes included a more rigorous protocol for applying daily or weekly dose values in certain situations and an overriding limit value ‘at the ear' which takes hearing protection into account.
The ‘music and entertainment' industry, not previously subjected to noise at work scrutiny, are also brought into the assessment regime.
To establish noise exposure levels and identify noise control works required under both the existing and the new requirements, noise at work assessments need to be carried out. These assessments must be carried out by a competent person, as defined in the regulations, of which we have plenty available!